Blog

Human Centered Design toolkit book from OPM

The federal agency the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has an innovation unit, the Lab. Through the Legal Design Lab, I have been lucky to work with them on projects, in which they’ve coached students and done design work pro bono. Now they have a gorgeous toolkit book, for use by other people in the

Continue Reading →

User Testing for courts

How can courts, especially those that serve self-represented litigants, test their new ideas for improvements directly with their users? I sketched out these thoughts at the Court Technology Conference this past September, with particular reference to Shannon Salter’s presentation about the work she did in the courts of British Columbia, doing extensive user testing and

Continue Reading →

Key legal visual design patterns

As a part of integrating various design workshops and product development into one resource, I have been assembling the Legal Communication Design resource as a part of the Legal Design Lab’s network of sites. I’ve been sketching out core, cross-legal design patterns that regularly test well as ‘good legal design’. Here are 3 of the

Continue Reading →

Escambia Project: community-driven legal design in Pensacola

I’ve been honored to be the design facilitator on the Escambia Project, a community-driven design initiative in Pensacola, Florida, to reimagine, prototype, and pilot new ways to get people access to legal services. It’s funded by Florida Bar Foundation, spearheaded by Melissa Moss (who leads special initiatives of the Foundation), and driven by Pathways for

Continue Reading →

For online legal help, people need Escape Hatches

In some recent testing of possible online court scenarios (with “Wizard of Oz” prototyping — not really coding these online court scenarios), our research team has observed an interesting trend. Many users will click on a button to ‘Skype with a Judge’ or to ‘Start Online Court’. They are intrigued and a little excited to

Continue Reading →

What might an on-the-street participatory justice lab be?

After reading and thinking about various participatory design and open innovation strategies, I’ve been brainstorming around how to get more community input into the redesign of the legal system. Could we have a roving laboratory, a pop-up place that would consult with people about what services they want, how they want to get them, and

Continue Reading →

Hacking 4 A2J cards

Jose Fernando Torres, of Universidad Sergio Arboleda in Colombia, spoke at the Legal Design Lab‘s Law + Design Summit last week, and introduced the Hacking 4 A2J design cards. He made them with the design firm Haptica. These cards are guidance and provocations for a team looking to improve the justice system, using an agile

Continue Reading →

Jumping Off the Ivory Tower podcast

My  listening this week: a podcast, Jumping Off the Ivory Tower, from Prof. Julie MacFarlane, of Canada’s National Self Represented Litigant Project. Here’s how Julie presents her vision for the podcast: Jumping Off the Ivory Tower with ProfJulieMac is a weekly podcast of about 30 minutes – perfect commuting time, or time to walk the dog

Continue Reading →

Cheat sheet for Digital Abuse Restraining Orders

Lawyer Erica Johnstone sent me a copy of a beautiful, laminated Cheat Sheet for people exploring how they might get a restraining order for online abuse. She produced it with her nonprofit Without My Consent, that focuses on fighting online harassment. This cheat sheet is in part based on Santa Clara Judge Shana Schwarz’s cheat sheets

Continue Reading →

The Rise of the Law School Labs

Today at the Court Technology Conference, I was lucky to co-present with Dan Jackson of NuLaw Lab of Northeastern University, and Christopher Griffin of the A2J Lab at Harvard Law School.  Our topic was: what can courts learn from law schools about user experience and innovation? Dan did an excellent job contextualizing this challenge, explaining

Continue Reading →

How can courts foster innovation in their orgs?

Two court leaders, Rob Oyung of the California courts and Casey Kennedy of the Texas courts, spoke at the Court Technology Conference this morning about what some of the myths around “why courts can’t innovate” are–and then talking through how they are figuring out ways to bring innovation into their courtrooms and organizations.

Continue Reading →

Court innovation in Missouri

At Court Technology Conference, the panel of Rob Oyung and Casey Kennedy is talking about Missouri court’s efforts to build intuitive online applications for users. Let users customize the view Provide just in time help Build the app to be extendable Use agile methodology, to take small risks and get quick feedback Improve the business

Continue Reading →

Models of Legal Innovation – from Richard Susskind

I was lucky enough to attend an IAALS working group for their Court Compass project, on reimagining the future of self-represented litigant experience in family courts. Their research team made a terrific presentation on different trends, models, and studies being done. This is one of my sketches from the session, which captures the essential parts

Continue Reading →

Beyond the Wall of Contract Text

Yesterday I got a treat in the mail: Stefania Passera’s book all about legal design and contract visualization: Beyond the Wall of Contract Text. She just finished and defended her PhD thesis at Aalto University in Finland. The book encapsulates all of this wonderful research into better ways of conveying knowledge, schemes, and rules. Congratulations

Continue Reading →

Privacy design patterns in Europe and beyond

Hat tip to Helena Haapio for sending these on: Two different websites chronicling ways to protect people’s data privacy online. There is Prvacypatterns.org and PrivacyPatterns.EU. Both sites lay out distinct visual and tech strategies to protect people’s privacy from bad actors, or even corporations. Both versions involve a similar group of collaborators. Their goal is

Continue Reading →

What can courts learn from airports for customer service?

I have been scouting out service design inspirations, particularly from airports, that courts could use. This one is from JFK airport, in the Delta terminal. I was very impressed with their service design. They had taken over an entire gate with a help center that had all kinds of touchpoints: paper, phone terminals, people, kiosks.

Continue Reading →

Stakeholder mapping the traffic ticket system

For a systems + design thinking workshop that I’m coaching at Stanford d.school this week, I’ve been creating some visuals to help catch participants up with the system of traffic tickets and safety on the streets. I’ve found a stakeholder map to be a very effective and simple way to sum up who’s who in

Continue Reading →

Signatu creates a new privacy compliance tool

As the EU’s large new data privacy regulation rolls out next year, there is some work to ease the burdens of complying with it. For example, the Norwegian group Signatu aims to offer an automated, well-designed way to comply with the privacy regulation. Signatu offers a privacy policy generator web app, that lets the user choose

Continue Reading →

Why is #AI not being implemented in courts?

In court management circles, it is established that Artificial Intelligence and Big Data are crucial to the evolution of court services.  So why isn’t the #AIrevolution taking courts by storm? A few of the dynamics at play: a culture of “no” that resists change, an inertia towards anything tech courts that don’t have control of

Continue Reading →

How will courts be disrupted?

Courts aren’t used to thinking about competition. Most have been used to be the only provider of dispute resolution. They haven’t had to think about the public as customers with choice. David Slayton, the court administrator of Texas scourts, presented on court disruption at the National Association for Court Management. If courts can “self-disrupt”, they

Continue Reading →

Why are courts struggling to engage (minority) communities?

At the National Association for court Management, I attended the session on how courts are focused on better engaging minority and disadvantaged communities. There are many dynamics that feed into the poor relationship: Predatory Practices by municipal courts -with bail, fines, fees practices that take money from people in punishing ways Implicit Bias of police

Continue Reading →

How can AI improve courts?

A quick sketch of some of the takeaways from a presentation I gave, along with Karl Branting of MITRE corporation at the National Association for court Management. We spoke on AI and Big Data in the courts, and what the near future could look like with new tech integrated into court processes and services.

Continue Reading →

Happier Court Professionals <--> Better Litigant Experience

Another cartoon from today’s conference for court leaders, amalgamating a few speakers’ points from the lunch’s plenary. I am fascinated by combining the Back stage of court admins’ interests and perspectives, with the Front stage of litigants’ experiences and concerns. We can use more data-gathering about both these stakeholders’ experiences, to improve processes for both–

Continue Reading →

Can we use big data to improve social systems?

Yesterday I spoke at Facebook’s annual Privacy@Scale conference, all about how we can use data ethically and respecting people’s privacy and empowerment. The keynote was from Sandy Pentland, a professor at MIT’s Media Lab, who spoke about his Open Algorithms project — and the mandate he’s setting out for better use of big data for

Continue Reading →

Systems in design thinking

At recent talks and conferences, I have been welcomed and challenged by people who are explicitly systems-thinkers. Some resist a design approach as too “micro” and lacking computational modeling-that would better predict outcomes rather than testing + experiments. Others see the links between participatory, multi-stakeholder design processes and a systems approach. I am thinking through

Continue Reading →

Access to Justice through User Experience and Experimentation

Today I am in sunny, lovely Vancouver, British Columbia at a symposium of the Canadian Administrative Tribunals’ adjudicators, advocates, and other professionals. It’s co-hosted by the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals and the British Columbia Council of Administrative Tribunals. The theme of the kickoff panel and keynote has been one of keen interest to me:

Continue Reading →

Visual Guide to Serving Process

During my recent Equal Justice Conference presentation alongside the Harvard Access to Justice Lab, I presented a quick practice visual I made, that would guide people through how they could “Serve Process” in Massachusetts for a guardianship case. These are my first drafts, laying out how I might compose and color a worksheet guide for

Continue Reading →

← Previous Page